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All you need in music is a good song, and Vancouver’s the Shilohs showcase that in stunning 16-megapixel glory on their upcoming new album So Wild. From the opening ninety seconds of “This Is Vancouver Music,” a wonderous hunk of McCartney-esque horn-soaked glory, to “You Don’t Call Me Darling Anymore,” the album’s low-key closer, this album positively soaks up the bare-bones elements which made the Beatles into masters of their craft.
The Shilohs strip away all the hype usually associated with modern garage rock and contemporary pop, letting the songs do the talking. Whether you listen to So Wild as a master-class in how to create a true album-lover’s album in the era of iTunes, or as a Greatest Hits in the making, the result is the same. Listen to the chorus of “Get Ready Now” or the stripped-down Dylan-soaked melancholy of “The Place Where Nobody Knows I Go” and dare not to stop dead in your tracks, in pure awe of the sheer audacity of this band’s retro pop recreations. In an era where so many believe meaningful pop music is an oxymoron, So Wild is an album fully capable of changing minds, from a band you’ll want to rabidly follow from the ground floor.
Year of the Album — #066
The May Bees – “Saint Denis” (2011, Wampus Multimedia)
The best thing which can be said about the May Bees’ “candy-apple thrash” on Saint-Denis is that the Dutch band’s music hearkens back to the mid-’80s garage aesthetic while maintaining a true sense of modern pop depth.
If you’re a fan of garage pop in the vein of R.E.M. or Guided By Voices, with pop hooks that occasionally merge into U2′s zone, you’ll find something interesting I’m sure within the confines of Saint Denis. The album’s something of a mixed bag, but there’s plenty of good music to go around here. Read the rest of the review at PopMatters.